Is keyword research important? Is it an essential step, or is it optional? Most online business owners have heard about keyword research, but don’t really understand the value of it or whether or not it’s important for them to do it.
Keyword research is the process of brainstorming, researching and choosing which keywords to target in your business.
Usually keyword research comes in two parts: Selecting your main niche and keywords, then selecting specific low-competition keywords to target and dominate.
The Benefits of Doing Keyword Research
Doing keyword research is critical in many ways. What are the benefits of doing keyword research?
First of all, you’ll save a lot of time by doing the proper keyword research. Instead of building your websites and hoping that it’ll work, you’re figuring out whether or not it will work before you build a single page.
You’re only putting work into building campaigns and web pages that you know are specifically targeted for keywords most likely to bring in traffic and buyers.
You’ll also learn a lot about your market in the keyword research process.
The Dangers of Not Doing Proper Keyword Research
What could happen if you don’t do your keyword research properly?
What’s most likely to happen is that you’ll spend a whole bunch of time creating and promoting your website, only to have very little to no returns.
Imagine putting in all the mental, emotional and physical effort of building a website. All the hopes and dreams of the money you want to make. Only to have all that wash down the drain.
Not doing your keyword research when you’re starting a website is like opening a restaurant without doing research on the location you’re opening the restaurant.
If you’re opening a restaurant, wouldn’t you want to know how many people come by this area every day? How many other restaurants are competing in this area? Wouldn’t you want to do your research to see if there’s another area in town with even more traffic and demand yet has less competition?
Keyword research works very much the same way. Before you build a single page, you should know how much traffic you could reasonably expect, plus how much competition you have.
How it Works: Selecting Your Main Keywords
The first step to any keyword research process is to select your main keyword(s). For example, if you’re starting a website on eating healthy, should you choose “dieting,” “healthy eating,” “weight loss” or “nutrition?”
Each will attract a very different crowd of people, have different traffic statistics and different levels of competition.
The keywords you select should:
• Give you a foot in on what would otherwise be a very competitive market.
• Allow you to start by targeting sub-niches, but then work your way up to ranking for broader and broader keywords.
• Allow you to start getting traffic right now by targeting less competition keywords.
Choosing the right keywords will determine how well your entire business does. It’s not just part of your traffic strategy, its part of your branding strategy.
It’s very hard to change how you brand yourself once you’re known in your industry. Choose your keywords carefully, before you start. That way you won’t have to go through the costly process of changing your brand later on.
Laser Targeting Keywords Designed to Rank
Once you’ve done your research on what broad category of keywords you’re targeting, the next step is to select specific keywords to target. You goal when selecting these keywords is to actually get on the top 1-5 spots on Google.
At first, the keywords you’re going to target are going to be very low traffic and very low competition. As your web presence grows, your PageRank grows and your credibility in Google’s eyes grows, you’ll target higher and higher traffic search phrases.
Every keyword that you choose to target should also contain or be closely related to your main keywords. This allows you to instantly rank for the lower traffic keywords while you simultaneously build towards ranking well for your main keywords.
Build Your Business on Facts – Not Pride, Laziness or Gut Feeling
Very, very few business owners build their business on actual numbers and statistics. This is perhaps one of the reasons why so few business owners succeed.
It’s critical to both your short term and long term success that you build your business based on the facts. It doesn’t matter if you like certain keywords more than others.
If the statistics show you that you’re more likely to be successful by targeting one group of keywords than another, then target that keyword group.
Do your research by using statistics and numbers. Use tools like the Google Keyword Tool that show you actual search statistics.
Successful business owners always know their stats. If you asked an unsuccessful business owner “How much traffic do you get per day?” They probably wouldn’t know. If you asked a successful marketer, they’ll probably something like “About 500 a day on weekdays, 800 a day on weekends.”
A successful marketer is always looking at his stats.
Before a campaign, a great marketer does his research. He makes sure he’s not wasting time and make sure he’s doing everything he can to increase his chances of making money.
During a campaign, he’s watching his traffic come in. He’s monitoring the stats constantly. What’s his traffic like? What’s his conversion rate? A great marketer is looking at these numbers on a daily or even hourly basis.
After a campaign, the successful marketer looks at his numbers again. This time he’s looking back to see what he did right and what he could improve next time. He’s looking to learn.
How much attention do you have on the numbers? Would having more attention on the numbers improve your business? Chances are the answer is yes.
Keyword Research is the “Secret Sauce” That Separates the Successes from the Failures
“He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” – Proverb
If you’ve heard the proverb “He who fails to plan, plans to fail,” know that this absolutely applies when it comes to keyword research.
Businesses don’t pop out of the ground overnight. Internet businesses can grow a lot faster than brick and mortar businesses – Which actually makes planning that much more important.
In other businesses, it may be more feasible to correct as you go along. With an internet business, you could lose so much momentum by having to start over again.
Instead, just do your keyword research right the first time.
We’ve gone over several important reasons why keyword research matter. We’ve gone over a couple examples of how big of a difference keyword research can make.
By now, it should be pretty clear that the success or failure of a beginning internet marketing business can depend a lot on the keywords you choose. It’s the foundation for your entire business.
Once you learn the keyword research process, spend some time doing your research. Put your research down for a day or so, then come back to it before making your decision. Remember, this is the foundation that your business is built on. It’s worth spending a little time on it.
Keyword research is critical. Learn the process, do the process and watch your business thrive!